SHAIFALI SANDHYA, PH.D. | PSYCHOLOGIST
Dr. Shaifali Sandhya is a US and UK-trained psychologist. She holds a doctorate from the University of Chicago and an M.A. from the University of Cambridge. Dr. Sandhya's work has been featured in international media including the New York Times, Fox, CBS, US News and World Report and National Public Radio.
Her clinical areas of expertise are biracial and intercultural couples, and families. Over the course of twenty years, she has collaborated with hundreds of couples and families across cultures on rebuilding their relationships.
In her spare time, Dr. Sandhya researches the effects of psychological trauma in refugees and asylum seekers war-torn countries on their resettlement in host countries. She also conducts research on global mental health issues of indigenous and international families and factors impacting their well-being.
She is the current Co-Chair of the American Psychological Association's Division 52, International Psychology Women's Committee (2021-2024). She is also on the Steering Committee of the Ryan Licht Sang Bipolar Foundation, a foundation dedicated to fostering awareness, understanding, and research for early-onset Bipolar Disorder.
More on Dr. Sandhya can be found below as well as on Psychology Today, an online magazine for psychology topics.
Dr. Sandhya holds a Ph.D. in Psychology as an Andrew Mellon Fellow from The University of Chicago. She also holds an M.A. from Trinity College, Cambridge University, UK. on dual international fellowships: the Cambridge Commonwealth Fellowship, and Rajiv Gandhi Fellowship.
In the past, Dr. Sandhya has provided psychotherapy at hospitals and health centers in Chicago, Illinois such as The University of Chicago Hospitals, The Chicago Center for Family Health, The Family Institute at Northwestern University, and Columbia Michael Reese Hospitals. At The University of Chicago, Dr. Sandhya taught classes on International mental health and health disparities to undergraduates.
Associations and Publications
Dr. Sandhya has presented at several academic conferences around the world and at local women's organizations, such as the International Women's Associates of Chicago. Dr. Sandhya has served as a peer-reviewer for academic journals such as Culture, Health, and Sexuality and the Journal of Marriage and Family. She is a Fellow of the Cambridge Commonwealth Society.
Sandhya, S. (Upcoming). Love will follow: Making love and intimacy work in Indian couples. Second Edition.
Sandhya, S. (2020). The Glocal family: Exploring its international variations using a family systems framework. Invited book chapter for The Handbook of Systemic Family Therapy. Edited by Karen S. Wampler, Richard B. Miller, Ryan B. Seedall, Lenore M. McWey, Adrian J. Blow, Mudita Rastogi, and Reenee Singh.
Sandhya, S. (2009). Love will follow: Why the Indian marriage is burning. India: Random House. ISBN9788184000429
Synopsis: Love Will Follow is a cultural and clinical portrait that explores the family life of modern-day Indian families; using qualitative and quantitative measures, it assesses mental health functioning in families and highlights specific social and psychological factors impacting the health of couples and children in an urbanizing India.
Sandhya, S. (2009). The social context of marital happiness in urban Indian couples: Interplay of intimacy and conflict. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy 35 (1): 74-96. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-0606.2008.00103.x.
Outreach and Advocacy
Dr. Sandhya's outreach and advocacy efforts include:
1. Mental Health of Syrian. Iraqi and Afghani refugee seekers
2. Testifying towards Ordinance 16-1983 for the safe disposal of pharmaceutical drugs. Unused and expired medications that accumulate at home can contribute to accidental poisonings and overdoses, and the majority of teenagers who abuse prescription drugs began doing so from their family medicine cabinet. Providing safe, secure, and readily accessible collection sites for people to dispose of their unused and expired medications - including prescription opioid painkillers - is a matter of public safety, public health, and environmental protection. The Cook County Board of Commissioners is currently considering an ordinance (Proposed Ordinance #16-1983) governing the safe disposal of pharmaceuticals in Cook County. This measure will build upon and expand an existing collection program administered by the Cook County Sheriff's Department, to eliminate "collection deserts" in Cook County and to require pharmaceutical manufacturers to pay a modest fee to support the free and accessible collection of unwanted or expired pharmaceuticals for all County residents. The Sheriff's Department, in conjunction with a public advisory committee, will enforce and oversee the implementation of the ordinance.
Dr. Sandhya's interests are rowing, animal well-being, and refugee mental health. At Trinity College, she was a cox for Trinity’s First and Third Boat Club, and during the May and Lent bumps on the river Cam raced her crew to victory. In Michaelmas 1994, she was the first debater to open the floor at the Cambridge Union Society, the oldest debating society in the world. While at Delhi University, she was one of two University toppers in Psychology and was awarded the College All-Round Excellence trophy by the then Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh.